Monday, 5 November 2018

Letter on Hammond`s appalling budget

The Tories` utterly despicable budget this week was yet another example of a callous government at work (Morning Star, 30/10/18). Prioritising tax cuts at a time when public services are at breaking point, and giving another billion to "contribute to the Trident nuclear weapon system" are typical Tory responses when the country`s least fortunate have to rely on charitable donations to survive.
   Having nuclear weapons is no defence against terrorism, and can serve no purpose other than to claim Britain is deserving of a "seat at the top table". What about the real necessity, which, yes, is defence, but against the real enemies?
  How much importance does this government attach to defending our children from ignorance? None whatsoever, judging by the massive underfunding of the state sector, and Hammond`s deeply insulting £400m for the "little extras". Meanwhile uncharitable private schools continue to avoid paying 80% of their business rates because of their charitable status!
 Then there`s the defence, urgently needed, against illness and mental health conditions. Does anyone really believe the generous chancellor has given extra funds "with his fanfare announcement of £4 billion" to deal with the crisis, when the truth is that it is a part of the already promised and insufficient £20bn for the NHS?
     More defence is needed to protect the country from tax avoidance and evasion, but this unsurprisingly is ignored. So too is defending the people against exploitation, both from greedy employers who do their utmost to pay workers as little as possible for as many unpleasant hours as possible, whilst pension funds disappear, and from Rachman-like landlords whose abominable behaviour should be penalised with imprisonment.
   There`s more, of course; defence against global warning, against injustices like the rights lost by trade unionists and pensions lost by women born in the 1950s, against homelessness, against monopolies who overcharge and under-invest, and perhaps most importantly of all, against poverty.
How can you claim to be defending the country when ignoring the most important dangers, selling arms to war-mongering nations, and ripping off the people you are meant to serve?

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